On June 4, Facebook started to label media organisations whose editorial contents are likely to be under government influence and it has decided to block ads from their outlets, this year. According to Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, the decision is part of a plan announced previously that aimed at labelling State Controlled News Publishers.
In a blog post, he said, “We believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government”. According to him, this is being done, “to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate”. He added, “If we determine that there are enough protections in place to ensure editorial independence, we will not apply the label”.
Facebook has decided to apply labels to those media organisations whose editorial content reflects influence from the government as well as those whose outlets have the financial backing of the government.
In order to establish its policy on state-controlled media, Facebook said it consulted, “more than 65 experts around the world specializing in media, governance, and human rights and development”.
Facebook is also initiating to set up a Supreme Court or oversight board to make strong binding determinations on the removal of content that it may find inappropriate.
The move comes after Facebook faced massive backlash from several people for failing to stop alleged misuse of its platform during the U.S Presidential Election of 2016 as a tool for foreign interference.